Universal Pictures made a great deal of money from its monster movies in the 1930s. In the early '40s, the burlesque team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello kept the studio's coffers full. When the two franchises were combined in 1948, the result was another windfall--despite the apparent oil-and-water mix of subject matter. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
was the first of these summit meetings, although the title is a misnomer. Actually, Bud and Lou bump into most of the Universal heavy-hitters, including Count Dracula (played by Béla Lugosi himself), the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.), and the Frankenstein monster (veteran monster Glenn Strange). There's even a token appearance by the Invisible Man, whose disembodied voice is recognizable as that of Vincent Price. Sure enough, the film is funny, especially since it gives the portly Costello multiple opportunities to do his wide-eyed, quivering scaredy-cat routine. Audiences ate it up, and in future installments Bud and Lou would run into Boris Karloff, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, and the Mummy. But the first was the best. --Robert Horton
Lon Chaney, Jr., Bela Lugosi, Glenn Strange. A great comedic monster mash-Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster. Abbott and Costello play porters trying to dodge Dracula who wants to implant Lou's brain inside the Monster's head. 1948/b&w/83 min/NR/fullscreen.